May 11, 2023

Why Employers Should Consider a Skills-First Hiring Approach

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One way businesses can access a wider pool of talent is to shift from an experience-based hiring strategy to a skills-first hiring approach.

What’s the difference? When employers require candidates to have specific job experience, education and job titles before they’re considered, that narrows who’s available to hire. When employers hire based on skills, rather than titles (say, manager, or B.S. in information technology), they can open up roles to more talented and qualified workers who are eager to advance their careers.

For any company that’s hiring for open positions, here’s how a skills-first hiring strategy can lead to better talent and a competitive edge.

Skills-Based Hiring Is Becoming a Bigger Priority

As more companies compete for talent, they’re also shifting toward skills-based hiring. LinkedIn’s 2023 The Future of Recruiting report declared, “Skills-first hiring will become the gold standard.” The report bases that on data like:

  • Recruiters are 25% more likely to search by skills than they were 3 years ago.
  • Recruiters are 50% more likely to search by skills than by years of experience.
  • 75% of recruiters predict their company will prioritize skills-first hiring in the next 18 months.
  • 94% of recruiters agree that understanding skills employees do and don’t have is necessary to make informed talent decisions.

Skills-first hiring has also driven the creation of national talent initiatives, such as the “Tear the Paper Ceiling” campaign by nonprofit Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council. This campaign encourages employers to change hiring practices and adopt a skills-first approach.

The campaign cites the 70 million workers in the U.S. who are workers “skilled through alternative routes” rather than a bachelor’s degree, also known as STARs. STARs may have developed skills in the military, through workforce training, through online certificate programs or bootcamps, or through on-the-job learning. STARs may not have the exact formal college degree a role may have required, but they have the knowledge and skills they need to do the job well.

An additional benefit of looking at STARs and using a skills-based hiring approach means companies can also enhance their diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts. As skills-first hiring expands the talent pool, that means the diversity of talent also expands.

Need Help Hiring Talent? Work with AccruePartners

Skills-based hiring strategies are becoming more prevalent across most industries in the U.S. today. They give companies more access to talented candidates, without restricting roles to certain degrees or titles that could lead to less-effective hires.

At AccruePartners, our recruiting and hiring firm provides employers in diverse industries with the means to access top talent. We can help you widen your talent pool by using a skills-first approach to hiring.

From more inclusive job descriptions, to casting a wider talent net, we can help you find top candidates who can excel at your company. Contact AccruePartners for a free consultation.

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